Is Character Trainable?

Many people believe that character is not trainable, at least not as an adult. We have been led to believe that our character is set by age 7. But I want to challenge that mindset and discuss why I believe that character is, in fact, trainable and why pitching good character is so important for those of us in positions of leadership.

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3 thoughts on “Is Character Trainable?

  1. Gosh, I hope that character is not determined by age 7…Jack will be in a heap of trouble! Just kidding! But training him to make the right choices every day is definitely a 24/7 job.

  2. I’m not sure good character is ever innate, but must be taught through modeling by authority figures, cultivating respect and responsibility, and through clear expectations. Our standards are learned from the ideals and behaviors of those around us, especially figures of authority.

    Character education encompasses a broad range of teachable traits, including morality, civic responsibility, values, caring, conflict resolution, truthworthiness, fairness, etc. Ultimately, those of good character are capable of not only distinguishing between right and wrong, but are instilled with the courage required to take a stand on both.

    With our children, character development is easy to define. In schools, character education is much broader in scope and more difficult to address, especially since values between educators, parents and society may conflict.

    In politics, character is far more challenging because an ideal democracy requires an agreement between citizens and leaders on the guiding principles of ethics. Core values and moral reasoning become an issue open to debate and interpretation, especially in our currently divisive political environment.

    The problem now, as I see it, is just plain apathy. Between negative media, violent/amoral electronic entertainment, voter apathy, the moral failures of our leaders, citizen disinterest and declining participation in community and politics…character education is becoming more difficult.

    Just my two cents and worth no more than that…

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